Tropical Pineapple Habanero Oats

Tropical Pineapple Habanero Oats

Mid to late September makes me a little wistful as summer ends, but ‘eggcited’ that fall is right around the corner. I love the end of the year produce, including tomatoes, melon and squash, but look forward to apples, pears and more leafy greens. I’m also OK with using pantry staples to create simple meals.

Oatmeal is one of my favorite foods. I like overnight oats, but really prefer the taste, texture and warmth of hot oatmeal. Oatmeal is an excellent grain to include in your diet. In addition to being a good source of soluble fiber (which helps lower bad cholesterol) and manage blood sugar), rolled oats have been found to help reduce appetite. They’re also a source of B vitamins, and inexpensive and versatile to use.

If you’re thinking that “old fashioned oats” take too long to cook, think again. You can whip up rolled oats in the microwave in 2 minutes. If you can spare one minute on instant oats, you can certainly spend 2 minutes on rolled oats. While they may have roughly the same fiber and calorie content, rolled oats are less processed, have zero sodium and no added sugar. Those little packs of instant oats pack 3 teaspoons of sugar and up to 200 mg of sodium per pack. Hard pass!

I made the recipe below with 3 ingredients including a little something spicy. My gal pal Barbie Hahn created this overnight sensation she dubs, “That dam jam”. Like me, Barbie is a foodie and enjoys simple, delicious ingredients. Her jam is no exception. She will tell you, “It’s nothing special”, but it really is! Barbie is the quintessential host. She creates beautiful trays of goodies and charcuterie and serves her delicious pineapple jam with cream cheese as a sweet and savory spread.

Her “sweet with a little heat” jam became so popular as a holiday and housewarming gift, her friends and family urged her to launch it commercially. It’s a really versatile jam that can be used in appetizers, main dishes with meat or hey- why not breakfast?

I combined rolled oats, unsweetened coconut and “That Dam Jam” for breakfast this morning. So. Dam. Easy! I hope you enjoy it as the weather changes from summer to fall in the next few days. Feel free to adjust the recipe to make more for a crowd.

You can find That Dam Jam at several markets around Cincinnati and Kentucky: SHOP LOCAL | That Dam Jam

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup water

1 teaspoon unsweetened coconut flakes

1 Tablespoon That Dam Jam (pineapple habanero)


  1. Place the rolled oats, water and unsweetened coconut in a microwave safe bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover the bowl with a microwave safe lid and cook the oats for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the oats from the microwave and stir in That Dam Jam.
  4. Allow to cool for a minute, then enjoy with gusto!

Makes 1 serving. Nutrition facts per serving: 211 calories, 37 grams carbs, 4.8 grams fiber, 4.1 grams fat, 5.6 grams protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 2.4 mg sodium 

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The Battle of the Bread- Aunt Millie’s Versus Doh Joy

The Battle of the Bread- Aunt Millie’s Versus Doh Joy

Nutrigirl is no stranger to carb consciousness. In addition to being a dietitian who counsels clients with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and weight management, I also have to deal with a familial condition of pre-diabetes myself. My father had diabetes from the time he was 40 and my mother developed it later in life. I was not surprised to find out my glucose was elevated 5 years ago.

To be clear, carbs are not the “enemy”. Our diet needs carbs for adequate energy, fiber, and B vitamins. Carbohydrates (AKA carbs) are found naturally in all grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, beans, lentils, and dairy products.

Added sugars in soda, sports drinks, desserts, and candy are less healthy carbs we should limit in our diet. Excess intake is linked with higher rates of chronic disease including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Unless a protein is breaded, most meat, fish, pork, and poultry products have zero carbs.

Whether carbs come from natural sources or are added to foods as sweeteners, both will raise blood sugar. Carbs break down into glucose, which our bodies either use for energy, store as glycogen or change to fat if too much is consumed. Reducing carbs of all types has some health benefits.

Curbing Carbs

Cutting back on carbs is an effective way to manage and control blood sugar. Recent research shows that compared to traditional calorie-controlled diets, limiting carbs may aid in diabetes prevention and reversal. Reducing carbs in your diet is also associated with weight loss and potentially longevity.

Often, one of the first things a person with diabetes (or prediabetes) does is cut out bread. This is one of the saddest things to hear as a food lover! Yes, bread has carbs, but there are a handful on the market that have been formulated with less. Let’s take a look at a few new ones.

Aunt Millie’s

Aunt Millie’s out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana is no stranger in the bread aisle. Their company has been around for 120 years and features everything from bread to buns to rolls. Their latest line “Live Carb Smart” includes three varieties of breads as well as hamburger and hot dog buns. For the purpose of this review, I’ll focus on their white bread.

For starters, the loaf looks like regular bread. The slices are uniform in size with the heel of the bread being slightly smaller. Each slice contains 45 calories and just .5 grams of fat. The sodium content is low at just 115 mg per slice. The bread is fortified with vitamin D and contains 10% of the Daily Value, which is considered a “good” source of the nutrient.

The carb count is 12 grams per slice of which 6 are net carbs. The slices contain 6 grams of dietary fiber, which is subtracted out of the total carb count to yield the net carbs. Like other low-carb bread, it has no added sugar. The texture is soft and it tastes like regular bread! The bread toasted up nicely.

Doh Joy

Doh Joy is a new Cincinnati-based company. Its white bread is dubbed “keto-friendly” and would be appropriate for individuals with diabetes or others limiting the carbs in their diet. Like Aunt Millie’s, it has no added suga.and its base is made from modified wheat starch and wheat protein isolate.

The protein content is 5 grams per 40-calorie slice. Doh Joy boasts 30% more fiber than Aunt Millie’s: 9 grams per slice versus 6 grams. Their net carb count is also lower, 1 gram per slice instead of 6 with Aunt Millie’s. Doh Joy contained less potassium than Aunt Millie’s, making it a good choice for individuals on a low potassium diet, such as renal patients (kidney disease).

The taste and texture of Doh Joy are similar to Aunt Millie’s, but a little chewier. Both of the breads toasted up well and had a mild, “white bread” taste. Doh Joy contains 1.5 grams of fat per slice, compared to Aunt Millie’s .5 grams per serving. Doh Joy does not contain vitamin D.

The Bottom Slice

If you’re looking to reduce carbs in your diet, please don’t completely cut out bread. What fun is that? You certainly can’t make a sandwich or French toast without bread! If carbs are your concern, Doh Joy is lower than Aunt Millie’s with most of the other ingredients being close in comparison. It certainly gives Aunt Millie’s a run for the money.

I received samples of both breads for this comparison but was not paid for the review. To find either of the breads online, visit: Baking Memories From Our Family to Yours – Aunt Millie’s (auntmillies.com)

DohJoy Under 1 Net Carb Keto Friendly White Bread

Superior Salmon with Peach Salsa

Superior Salmon with Peach Salsa

Farm-raised fish often gets a bad rap. Visions of polluted, contaminated water overflowing with crowded fish may be what you’re thinking of. It’s time to think again!

Not all fish farms are the same. I was fortunate to receive samples of seriously tasty salmon from Superior Fresh in Wisconsin. Superior Fresh is no ordinary fish farm. They use regenerative agriculture to provide the most delicious food while sparing the planet.

Superior Fresh uses soil regeneration and habitat preservation by recycling nearly 100% of the water used to grow 30 times more food per acre than traditional farms. In addition, they grown 5 pounds of salmon and an extra 25 pounds of organic vegetables for every 5 pounds of fish food. That’s a lot of food!

Their aquaponic ecosystem works in harmony. Atlantic salmon lives in water that fuel their leafy greens, which in turn purify the water and send it back to the fish. Their fish are fed an organic diet, which are non-GMO, pesticide free, hormone free, antibiotic free and delicious! On top of that, their Atlantic salmon has twice as much omega-3-fatty acids as traditional salmon.

Why Omega-3s?

I’ve been paying attention to my omega-3-fatty acid intake for a reason. Omega-3 fats are PUFAS (polyunsaturated fatty acids) that are linked with the reduction of risk of heart disease, dementia, and also depression. Sadly, no pun intended, all of these conditions run in my family. My father had diabetes which led to heart disease. My mother has dementia and suffered with depression throughout her life. Prevention is key to all of these chronic conditions.

Omega-3-fatty acids are found in fatty fish, including salmon as well as ground flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, soybean and canola oil. Most of us don’t consume enough in our diets. Fish oil supplements also provide these healthy fats- ask your doctor or dietitian if they’re right for you. While my diet may not be perfect (whose is?), I really want to keep my heart healthy and brain sharp as I age.

Superior Salmon with Peach Salsa

There are SO many tasty ways to make salmon that I got overwhelmed looking at recipes. Samon can be baked, broiled, air fried, pan fried or grilled. Summer in Cincinnati means grilling, so I opted for a simple marinade. Summer also means peach season. I was happy to have all the ingredients I needed on hand. Well, most of them.

Most fish marinades use lemon or lime juice, which makes sense. Both add refreshing flavor and help to tenderize the fish. I was out of both but did have a few mandarin oranges on hand. Problem solved. The fish can also be baked at 375 for 13 to 15 minutes.


1 Tbsp. avocado, olive or canola oil

Juice of 1 mandarin orange

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. salt

2 skin-on fillets of Superior Fresh salmon

Peach salsa

2 ripe peaches

1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 Tbsp. diced red onion

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Juice of 1/2 of a mandarin orange

pinch of salt


  1. Combine the avocado oil, mandarin juice, cumin, paprika and salt. Place 2 pieces of salmon in a Ziplock bag then pour the marinade over the fish. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the peaches, jalapeno peppers, red onions, and cilantro. Drizzle mandarin juice over the mixture and toss to coat. Add a pinch of salt to taste.
  3. Pre-heat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Grill each side for 4 to 5 minutes until desired doneness.
  4. Serve the salmon with a few tablespoons of peach salsa.

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National Nutrition Month 2022 Food Pun Gift Sale til 2.7.22

National Nutrition Month 2022 Food Pun Gift Sale til 2.7.22

It’s nearly National Nutrition Month!

National Nutrition Month happens every March. It’s the month that food and health professional geek out about fruits, veggies and all things food and health. Recipes, research, retail. It’s great to see our profession recognized in the science field along with nurses and other healthcare professionals.

What we do

Dietitians and NDTRS (dietetic technicians) are not just in clinical settings. We work in food service, hospitality, community nutrition, education, long term care, research, retail and consulting. It’s great to have so many ways to share our nutrition knowledge and expertise with the public.

RDN VS Nutritionist?

I’ve been asked many times if a registered dietitian is the same as a nutritionist. Yes and No. A registered dietitian has a minimum of a 4-year degree, has completed a comprehensive, accredited, dietetic internship and has passed a rigorous credentialing exam. In addition, we maintain 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years in the field. We may also go by the name nutritionist. We must be licensed (in most states) to practice MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy)- which is the ability to counsel people on medical conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes, gut health and the like.

A nutritionist does not necessarily have a degree in nutrition and may or may not be an RD. It could be someone that’s done an online credential in health coaching or someone that works in a smoothie shop. They may have a degree in nutrition but hasn’t completed all the steps to becoming a registered dietitian. A personal trainer may call themselves “nutritionist” but in all honestly, should NOT be dishing out nutrition advice, especially when it comes to medical conditions.

When in doubt, look for the credential RD or RDN after a person’s name if you’re seeking nutrition counseling for a medical condition. A person that states they’re an expert in pregnancy because they’ve been pregnant is not the same as someone who has worked with thousands of women providing nutrition counseling.

Celebrating National Nutrition Month (NNM)

One way to celebrate NNM is to wear fun nutrition clothes! Years ago, I worked for a community agency called the Nutrition Council. We participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade wearing apple, banana and tomato costumes. As the parade has been on hold with the pandemic, those days are long gone.

However- you can still dress in fund foodie clothes for the month of March (and beyond)! Now’s the ‘thyme’ to get your tees, totes, mugs and more for yourself or colleagues for National Nutrition Month. These make great gifts for interns, students, colleagues or for yourself!

Now through Monday, Feb 7, use code NNM22 and take 22% off all food pun swag. Got a pregnant co-worker? I’ve got your covered with adorable onesies. Need a one-size fits all? Go for a coffee mug or tote. No sizing whisk involved!

Whatever you ‘chews’, part of the proceeds will go towards programs that support food insecurity. It’s my way of giving back to my community. Everyone deserves to eat well throughout the year. Help me with this effort during National Nutrition month!


Black Friday- Cyber Monday 25% off!

Black Friday- Cyber Monday 25% off!

I’m whiskin’ it all! Now’s the best thyme to get your food pun swag ordered for the holidays! Take a break from the turkey and have a few laughs while you peruse my shop.

Today through Cyber Monday! Use code BF25 at check out for 25% off all food pun swag. Chews from Praise Cheeses, Olive you, This. Is. The. Wurst, Oh. My Gouda and more!

This includes tees, totes, onesies, hoodies and mugs! From Avo nice day to “Won’t you be vine?”- your foodie friends won’t be disappointed with a fun, food pun tee or tote.

As always, part of proceeds goes towards those suffering food insecurity in Cincinnati including https://lasoupe.org 

#blackfriday #blackfridaysale #foodpuns #foodpungifts #chefsgifts #foodiegifts #teeshirts #teeshirtsale #cybermonday #cybermondaydeals #blackfridaydeals #holidaygifts #holidaygiftideas #holidaysale #onsale

Spinach apple salad with dates in balsamic dressing

Spinach apple salad with dates in balsamic dressing

Whether you need a fancy salad for Thanksgiving or just something deliciously different this time of year, you’ll love this seasonal salad. It’s colorful, sweet and savory all at once.

I made this salad over the weekend for Homepage | Cancer Support Community in a live cooking demo. I’ve been doing demos for them for about 13 years and love the community.

All about that base:

Spinach makes a great base in this salad and provides beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin C to your diet. Arugula or kale could also be used if you’re out of spinach.

If you use kale as your base, be sure to “massage it” to wilt the texture a bit. The salad can be made a day or two ahead of time when using kale.

Get fruity:

I used honey crisp apples in my salad, but Granny Smith apples or even Barlett pears would go well. Apples or pears add soluble fiber to your salad; the type that lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. They also improve the color and texture of the salad.

Dates are technically not a “dried” fruit, but because of their wrinkly texture, people think they are. They paired nicely with the tart apples and tangy balsamic dressing. These Medjool dates were provided by https://www.naturaldelights.com. I’m a paid partner for the brand and stand by its quality. Medjool dates provide potassium and fiber and have a chewy, sweet texture.

Including some form of dried fruit will add a chewy texture to your salads in addition to more color. Raisins, dried cherries, chopped apricots or prunes would go well.

Get cheesy: 

I typically add a small amount of some type of cheese to my salads. This adds a little more dimension to the salad and savory cheese goes well with fruit. You can use blue cheese crumbles, feta cheese or shredded Parmesan. Or, keep the salad vegan and leave the cheese out!

Dress it up:

Making your own dressing is super simple and so much tastier than bottled dressing. I love the richness of balsamic vinegar, but apple cider vinegar would go well, too. This recipe makes 1/3 cup dressing, which is the perfect amount to dress your salad. Don’t drown your salad in dressing!

If you want to add a different twist, substitute ginger paste for Dijon mustard. This may make the dressing a little spicy and less tangy. A few red onion rings would add another layer of flavor to the salad if you have them on hand. Drizzle the dressing right before serving. Enjoy!


1 (10 oz) bag fresh spinach

2 honey crisp or another firm apple

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 Medjool dates, chopped

2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

3 Tbsp. canola oil

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard


  1. Place the fresh spinach (or other greens) in a large salad bowl.
  2. Add the chopped apples, dates, pecans and feta cheese.
  3. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the canola oil, vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard.
  4. Drizzle the dressing and toss to coat the salad right before serving.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 227 calories, 16.6 grams fat, 18.4 grams carbs, 3.3 grams protein, 4.4 grams fiber, 4.6 mg cholesterol, 97 mg sodium

#ad #paid #partnership #collaboration #sponsored #Medjooldates #dates #spinach #spinachsalad #naturaldelights #apples #cancerprevention #recipes @NDmedjooldates

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